I’m a bad blogger. We’ve actually done quite a few projects around Stoneybrooke in the past few months but I am constantly having an inner debate between waiting to post until “the final reveal” so as to not spoil the surprise of the end look, and posting piece by piece as we work at the pace of real life.  Since there are still a few more details to take care of before I post a photo of the dining room progress overall, I thought I’d show you the update to our dining room chairs. This is one of the easiest, albeit time-consuming projects ever.
Dining Chairs Before Green White Black Gray Grey

I picked up these bad boys on Craiglist for $5 a pop (that’s right… 8 chairs for $40!!!)  I was pretty stoked to say the least.  They had been sitting out in the rain for a few days before we picked them up so the screws and brackets were a little rusty and the clear coat was peeling up, but that wasn’t a big deal to me since were planning to take them apart.  Here’s a little play-by-play of the excitement.

Step 1: Remove the Nasty

Removing the old fabric and crusty foam was a long process. I recommend you do this step while catching up on your overloaded DVR with a bottle of wine.  I started pulling out each and every one of the old staples on the first couple of seats, but gave up after 2 seats. Some of the plywood was not in great condition because of water damage and pulling out the staples was pulling the plywood apart. Because I don’t plan on keeping these chairs forever, just for a few years until we’re done doing major updates to house and have more room in the budget for furniture, I wasn’t terribly concerned with the chairs being PERFECT.  You don’t see that side of the chair anyway so it’s not a huge deal. If you’re a perfectionist, then have at it… and then come over and do some of my projects for me! *hehe*

table-with-wood-cushions

I used my palm sander on the chairs as much as possible and then did some hand sanding for areas that were hard to get to.  I hate sanding as much, if not more than the next person, so I mainly did the sanding to get the flaky water damaged spots on the wood removed.  Then I used a deglosser on the rest of the wood to soften up the remaining varnish so the new paint would stick.

Step 2: Prime!

This is one of those time where I thought I should probably prime, decided to skip it because of the time crunch I was under, and totally regret it! Always go with what your gut tells you.

Step 3: Paint

I really, really, really wanted to spray paint these chairs, again because of the time crunch, but couldn’t find a color available in a spray that would whisper sweet nothings to me. So, I sucked it up and enlisted slave labor my friends to help.  We did two coats of Valspar Signature Interior Paint/Primer in “High Speed Steel,” waiting a full 24 hours before putting on the second coat. I haven’t used Valspar before but it had good coverage and drying time.  Because its been pretty cold around here and our only time was in the evenings, we had to paint in the basement.  This was not so much a problem for the Valspar since it’s a low VOC paint, but Montana was pretty sure I was going to kill us all when I did the clear coat down there. We’re all living still… just with a few less brain cells.

Dining Chairs Painted Gray Grey

Step 4: Protective Coat

For the top coat I used my favorite Polycrylic by Minewax, that comes either in a spray can or different sized cans for rolling/brushing.  I opted to splurge a little and buy the spray.  I was able to do 2 coats on 8 chairs with only a can and a half so I think it was well worth the few extra dollars to save easily 5 hours of painting time.  This was when I realized not priming (even though my paint had primer in it) was a mistake because some of the red was showing through.  After a few minutes of pouting and self loathing I decided that the lack of perfection on the chairs actually made them look more rustic which is kind of what I was going for anyway.  I was originally going to do two colors of paint on the chairs and rough up the edges to show the second color but the lack of time made me stick with one color.

minewax polycrylic

Step 5: Reupholstering Cushions

Supes easy.  Cut fabric and lay flat, set foam on top of fabric, set wood seat on top of foam, staple. Boom your done!

Ha. To quote Cher Horowitz, As if. Insert cursing the day the electric stapler was invented every few staples as it gets stuck and you have to completely unassemble the stapler to get the stuck staple out. Repeat x100. Step 5A: Go to hardware store and buy an old-fashioned non-electric heavy-duty stapler. (We haven’t done this step yet).  *If anyone has had an electric stapler that they actually like, please comment away.  We bought 2 staplers and they were both HORRIBLE even though they were $50! Not cool!

We used 2″ foam so that they’re nice and cushy and won’t be completely flat after a few years of use.

Green Eco Friendly Cushion Foam

For the fabric I chose a toile from Hancock Fabric which I got for 50% off at the Labor Day sale. Score!

My main tip for stapling is that when you start, staple first in the middle and push the cushion down a bit. If you don’t push the cushion down, then when you flip them right side up, the edge on the foam will be very square.  After you staple the first side, staple the opposite edge before the adjacent edges while making sure you pull the fabric tight. Wait to staple the corner sections until all the sides are done and tuck the fabric under itself like you’re wrapping a present. I gave myself an extra inch of fabric more than I needed to help me pull it tight. You can cut off the extra fabric when you’re done stapling.

how to reupholster dining cushions

I also decided to use a waterproofing spray on the cushions when we were done since the fabric I used was white. Hopefully it helps with spills, If not, I bought an extra yard or so of fabric so I can recover them if necessary.

Step 6: Reassemble chairs and brush your shoulders off. You so fancy.

Dining Chairs After Green White Black Gray Grey

 

And now for the Before and After…

Dining Chairs Before After Green White Black Gray Grey

Hopefully soon we’ll have our table refinished and then I can do a proper “progress” shoot of the dining room. Until then…

 

 

This is a tale of a girl whose longings for a campaign dresser were fulfilled one Saturday when she got out of bed before noon. This post could also be titled “The Early Girl gets the Dresser.” Dang-it.

A few weekends ago, Montana and I decided to sell a bunch of furniture that didn’t fit and check out the Restore and some yard sales. Ever since some AWESOME friends moved into a smaller place and gifted us their treadmill (best day ever) I had been trying to use it fairly regularly. I’m pretty bad at self motivating though. What I am good at is collecting a huge selection of DVR’d shows that I have trouble finding time to watch. When we first moved in, we put a TV in the basement on a TV stand that had previously been in our condo living room. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see it over the top of the treadmill so it needed to go on the wall. The TV stand was also in too nice of condition for the basement where some weights might accidentally scratch or dent it.  Somehow I can’t find a picture of it from either our old condo or the basement. Blogger fail!

We also decided to sell a really nice desk that the previous owners left but for which we just didn’t have a need. We plan to do built-ins for our office eventually but in the meantime the office is packed with bookcases and a desk we already had in the condo.

desk

Luckily both the desk and the TV stand sold quickly and for close to asking price giving us $275 in cash to use for furniture that we needed!

Our Saturday morning started with a quick trip to a yard sale right around the corner and we scored! This solid wood dresser and mirror set became ours for $29! Sure, it’s an ugly tone but nothing a little paint can’t fix.

The mirror immediately went above our fireplace mantel. I’m not sure it’ll stay there long-term but it works for now. Yes… that ceiling fan is hideous.

A few miles of our house, we have this magical land of forgotten treasures known as the Habitat for Humanity Restore. MAGICAL I TELL YOU! Basically, the Restore is Craigslist in a warehouse where volunteers take donations from contractors, businesses and individuals and then sell everything at a huge discount off retail. Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity. Win-Win! Sometimes they have aisles full of gorgeous marble tile or pedestal sinks. Other days they have nothing awesome at all, which only adds to the thrill… you never know whatcha gonna get! You can usually count on them to have a few complete sets of kitchen cabinet, lots of doors, some random furniture and old sofas that need to be reupholstered. The vast majority of stuff is used but every once in a while you find things like $400 lighting fixtures with the tag still on for $50. Hoollaaahh.

This fine Saturday they had the mother-load. I could have filled a Uhaul with everything I wanted. But… I exercised self-restraint and stayed within my $275.  Here’s a sampling of what I was strong enough to walk away from that day.

Restore Loot

Ok moment of truth. I wanted that sewing table BADDDDDDD but someone scooped it. This place is competitive!

Enter the campaign dresser.

If you’re a decor blog lover or a pinterest lover, then you know that campaign furniture is BIG right now. Now, I’m the last person to be trendy (honestly, even my mom has told me that I’m frumpy) but I have been dying for a campaign dresser. Montana thought I was crazy because I wouldn’t leave it unattended in the store unless he promised to stand by it and not let anyone touch it.  In the picture it actually looks like it’s in much better shape than reality.  The drawer rails were shot. It had probably 20-year-old plastic cracked drawer liners stuck inside, pieces falling off… but IT WAS MINE! All for a cool $40 thankyouverymuch! (Random sidebar: maybe I am obsessed with them because they’re called “campaign” and deep down I feel nostalgic about past campaigns I’ve worked on? Do I need a shrink?)

Then I found this cherry buffet in great condition.

I’m going to call it a buffet, but to be honest I’m not sure how its meant to be used. I don’t usually like bare wood other than in really dark rich tones, but this is going to stay as it is. It was marked at $125 but I negotiated it down to $75 by also buying…

…this hideous chair also for $75. (It was also marked at $125 originally). A friend of mine that I showed the chair to and shared my plan to reupholster it begged me to let her buy it for $150 so she could keep the chair as it was. Please feel free to comment and tell her how hideous it is in its current state. 🙂 Now $75 seems like a lot for chair that needs to be reupholstered, but its super comfortable and even still had the original tag on it from Pier 1. I looked at their site and most chairs in this style go for around $375 so I think even with the work I’ll have to put into it that it’ll be worth it in the end. I’ve already picked out fabric which I scored on clearances during Labor Day sales.

Of course all this new loot means our house is filled back up with projects, as if we didn’t have enough to do.

What’s your favorite second-hand deal you’ve purchased? Any secret tips for finding great stuff? What’s your preference between Craiglist, Yard Sales, or Thrift Stores?